Sign of the (Lap) Times: Detroit SX

Sign of the (Lap) Times Detroit SX

March 18, 2014 3:00pm

By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo

Okay, okay, if you listen to any rider after the Detroit race you’re going to hear that the track wasn’t very good. The dirt may have been more to blame, as many said it was the slickest track of the year, slicker, even, that notoriously slippery events like Phoenix. That made it impossible to get off the main racing groove, which made it hard to pass… you know where we’re going here. Since we feel the need to have a source on the record for this, we’ll pick the two winners, who, amazingly, didn’t like it even though they won! “This track was awful, worst one so far,” said Adam Cianciarulo to our Steve Matthes. “And you were always turning on the slipperiest part of the track, it was very basic for the most part, super short whoops.”

“I thought it sucked,” said James Stewart, also to Matthes. “And not saying Dirt Wurx didn’t do a good job, I just think they could have done a few things to open it up. Like shave down some of the insides. The dirt didn’t help, but if you could have shaved down some of the insides, it at least opens it up.”

Kyle Cunningham had a season high finish in Detroit.
Kyle Cunningham had a season high finish in Detroit. Photo: Simon Cudby

The passing difficulties may have lead to some bumping and banging for position. We saw Kyle Cunningham—who finished a season high fourth—and Jimmy Decotis come together battling for third in the 250SX main (Decotis got the bad end of the deal but said he had no hard feelings, it was a racing incident). The torrid battle for fourth-through-tenth in 450SX led to Cole Seely tangling with Andrew Short and Seely going down, and Justin Barcia seemingly banging into everyone. Yeah, Barcia is a hitter, but it was tuned up a few notches in Detroit.

Detroit’s downtown stadium leads to a different pits and parking situation than many other stadiums (although it’s similar to what we’ll see in Toronto this weekend), with riders pitting inside the building, instead of using their semis, which are parked too closely to allow for awnings or workspace.

Dean Wilson was fast again on his Discount Tire TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki, recording the fastest time in the final practice for the second week in a row. Also, arm pump did him in during the main for the second-straight weekend. Then he got in on the rough riding act with a massive hit on Mike Alessi in the very last turn of the race, while battling for 12th. Private videos from the races are not supposed to go public, but Alessi’s SmarTop MotoConcepts Team decided to do so anyway, so here’s a link to the footage on YouTube.

Chad Reed is on schedule to return for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.
Chad Reed is on schedule to return for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. Photo: Simon Cudby

As for the owner of Wilson’s team, Chad Reed, he’s on schedule (so far) from shoulder surgery. Reed had a screw inserted into the caracoid, which is a small, hook-like bone on the end of the shoulder blade. That’s actually the simple part. He also needed surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff, which is what will take gnarly physical therapy to get back on the bike. Reed’s confident he can pull it off and get back on the bike a few weeks before the Glen Helen opener of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Reed went through the same labrum/rotator cuff process prior to the 2004 AMA Supercross Championship, and had less time to get ready, and won Anaheim 1 anyway. So we’re saying there’s a chance!

On to the lap charts!

450SX Class

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 55.679 6 56.862 James Stewart
2 2 55.979 6 56.890 Ryan Villopoto
3 3 56.317 4 56.978 Ryan Dungey
4 6 56.406 5 57.709 Broc Tickle
5 5 56.682 5 57.695 Justin Barcia
6 12 56.752 7 59.280 Dean Wilson
7 4 56.802 6 57.698 Andrew Short
8 8 56.825 3 57.966 Josh Hill
9 7 56.906 7 57.731 Weston Peick
10 14 56.992 8 58.692 Wil Hahn
11 15 57.010 4 58.610 Cole Seely
12 9 57.238 10 58.033 Justin Brayton
13 20 57.325 5 1:00.460 Ken Roczen
14 10 57.410 3 58.647 Josh Grant
15 11 57.613 6 58.633 Matt Goerke
16 13 58.079 5 59.042 Mike Alessi
17 16 58.500 4 1:00.093 Chris Blose
18 17 58.691 3 1:00.310 Nick Wey
19 18 59.017 4 1:00.460 Jimmy Albertson
20 19 59.782 9 1:02.579 Ronnie Stewart
21 22 1:00.214 5 1:00.554 Nick Schmidt
22 21 1:00.572 3 1:04.091 Cody Gilmore

250SX Class

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 6 56.312 5 59.022  Martin Davalos
2 2 56.775 5 57.512  Justin Bogle
3 1 56.830 6 57.342  Adam Cianciarulo
4 3 57.052 8 58.541  Blake Baggett
5 4 57.545 8 59.085  Kyle Cunningham
6 13 57.865 2 1:01.039  Gavin Faith
7 10 57.872 5 59.554  Jimmy Decotis
8 5 58.007 5 59.233  Matt Lemoine
9 7 58.282 3 59.841  Vince Friese
10 8 58.512 9 59.461  Jeremy Martin
11 11 58.557 7 1:00.147  Cole Thompson
12 9 58.910 14 59.876  Alex Martin
13 19 59.082 2 1:01.512  Matt Bisceglia
14 14 59.351 3 1:00.799  Mitchell Oldenburg
15 12 59.396 5 1:00.687  Kyle Peters
16 15 59.821 4 1:00.862  AJ Catanzaro
17 16 59.856 5 1:01.330  Jesse Wentland
18 17 1:00.091 6 1:02.038  Jackson Richardson
19 18 1:00.709 8 1:02.793  Landen Powell
20 22 1:01.602 2 1:06.563  Ryan Zimmer
21 20 1:02.026 4 1:04.835  Justin Freund
22 21 1:02.514 8 1:05.541  Daniel Herrlein

This was a home race, of sorts, for the Soaring Eagle Casino RCH Suzuki team. Broc Tickle’s wife hails from Michigan, so he had plenty of family on hand, and the Casino itself is based in Michigan, and it served as an event sponsor. “It’s good,” said Josh Hill. “These guys came out to support us, all the people from Soaring Eagle. I think there’s about 150 of them. I’m glad we could go out there and put in a decent showing for them. I would have liked to have gotten it on the box for them and gave them a shout-out but there’s next weekend. They’ll watch from home.”

And with all that home-race mojo, we present this week’s line from the RCH post-race press release: "After last week's round on the Ricky Carmichael-built track in Daytona where Tickle and his teammate Hill felt like they had a home field advantage, they were really in the driver's seat for the race at Ford Field in downtown Detroit!”

Soaring Eagle Casino RCH riders Josh Hill and Broc Tickle had a big night in front of their sponsors. 
Soaring Eagle Casino RCH riders Josh Hill and Broc Tickle had a big night in front of their sponsors.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Cool move by Feld Motorsports to put Michigan’s own Nick Wey into opening ceremonies—he got the crowd to pop.

A smashed finger prevented Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ivan Tedesco from racing in Detroit. Ivan suffered the injury in his Daytona crash, and it looks gnarly! On the good side, Ivan said he had nothing wrong, whatsoever, from his Indy crash where he got tangled in Tevin Tapia’s rear wheel and was then dragged down the entire start straight. Ivan still hung out all night and helped the live announcing crew with some track analysis.

Ronnie Stewart’s run continues! He’s now made three-straight 450SX mains on his Dirt Candy Suzuki, and this one despite some mid-week drama. Ronnie blew his bike up in the Daytona main event, so his mechanic, Kasey Goss, was sent to New Jersey to fetch a new bike. He then drove to Detroit, getting in at midnight on Friday, and then went to work at 6 a.m. building a new race bike in time for practice, which starts just after noon. Stewart’s 19th was his best yet.

Nice job by Nebraska’s Cody Gilmore, who made his second 450SX main event of the season. He finished 21st.

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin adverted another disastrous night in Detroit. After falling in his heat race, Martin slid out on the last lap while leading the LCQ, but would quickly recover to finish third. Martin found more trouble in the main when he was pushed off the track on the start along with GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia. Martin was able to save the night, passing his brother Alex in the final corner to salvage eighth. Bisceglia would finish nineteenth.

Michigan native Nick Wey got the crowd pumped during opening ceremonies. 
Michigan native Nick Wey got the crowd pumped during opening ceremonies.  Photo: Simon Cudby

JAB Motorsports’ Matt Lemoine had his best finish since Arlington in 2011 with a fifth in Detroit. We will have more on Lemoine later this week.

Privateer Brady Kiesel’s Monster Energy Supercross season is over before it ever really started. Kiesel suffered a broken jaw at the opening round in Dallas, but returned two rounds later to contest Daytona and then Detroit, but is now calling it a series. He will return for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. 


Justin Starling is good to go for Toronto following a scary crash in Detroit. Running in a transfer position in his heat, Starling clipped a tuff block coming down from the stands, smacking head first into the stadium floor. As he tweeted earlier, he did not suffer a concussion, but may have a broken rib. You can check out the video here. 

Factory Metal Works/Club MX rider AJ Catanzaro suffered a partially torn MCL before Detroit but was able to gut out a fifteenth.

GEICO Honda’s Blake Wharton was a late scratch for Detroit after tweaking his knee earlier in the week. We now hear Wharton is out for the Toronto and St. Louis as well. Also out of action was Factory Metal Works/Club MX’s Jace Owen. The rookie will also skip Toronto and return in St. Louis.

Back in the Show: Privateer Jesse Wentland made his first main since Atlanta, finishing sixteenth. Wentland will finish out the Monster Energy Supercross season before heading to Canada for outdoors after signing with MX101 Yamaha. Also returning to the main were privateers Ryan Zimmer and Daniel Herrlein. Detroit marked the first main for Zimmer since Atlanta, while Arlington was the last main made for Herrlein. Zimmer, you might remember, missed the main by about an inch in Daytona after a last-lap drag race to the finish with Jacob Baumert.

Utah’s Landen Powell and Missouri’s Justin Freund both made their first 250SX East Region mains of the season in Detroit. Powell finished 18th, with Freund finishing two spots behind in 20th.

Interesting stat: Thirteen of the twenty-two man field in the 250SX East Region main were on Honda’s.